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  #1841  
Old 21.03.2019, 20:45
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Some sort of new debate swirling around on quantum theory; how does quantum theory stand up when observing people who are themselves performing and observing a Schrödinger’s cat-type experiment?

Answers on a post card!
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  #1842  
Old 21.03.2019, 22:46
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Some sort of new debate swirling around on quantum theory; how does quantum theory stand up when observing people who are themselves performing and observing a Schrödinger’s cat-type experiment?

Answers on a post card!
My guess is that the two acts of observation are independent, in that the "outer" set of observers will (apparently) affect the "inner" set of observers in some way, but without having an effect on the way those inner observers observe the cat (or whatever), which will continue to be affected in exactly the same way as before its observers were observed.

Yeah. That's it, definitely.
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  #1843  
Old 21.03.2019, 22:50
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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My guess is that the two acts of observation are independent, in that the "outer" set of observers will (apparently) affect the "inner" set of observers in some way, but without having an effect on the way those inner observers observe the cat (or whatever), which will continue to be affected in exactly the same way as before its observers were observed.

Yeah. That's it, definitely.
Thanks
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  #1844  
Old 22.03.2019, 12:12
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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My guess is that the two acts of observation are independent, in that the "outer" set of observers will (apparently) affect the "inner" set of observers in some way, but without having an effect on the way those inner observers observe the cat (or whatever), which will continue to be affected in exactly the same way as before its observers were observed.

Yeah. That's it, definitely.
This is the true reason that cats like to hide in boxes, while observing other cats in other boxes.

When it gets circular, a singularity opens up in space-time and you get Brexit.
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  #1845  
Old 22.03.2019, 12:25
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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This is the true reason that cats like to hide in boxes, while observing other cats in other boxes.

When it gets circular, a singularity opens up in space-time and you get Brexit.
Sooo... Larry the cat engineered Brexit? It was an inside job all along!
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  #1846  
Old 22.03.2019, 19:01
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Re: Ask a Scientist

What's the difference between a scientific theory and a law? For example, why is the theory of general relativity a "theory", compared to the laws of thermodynamics, or Kepler's Law.

I understand that scientific laws are supposed to be confirmed using empirical observation. Yet the process does not seem consistent.

For example, Kepler's Law talks about objects in space having a fixed orbit. Yet for example we have "supermoons" on earth, whereby sometimes the moon's orbit brings it closer to the earth - suggesting that it doesn't have a fixed orbit. In which case, why is it still Kepler's Law rather than Kepler's Theorem?

Or, the existence of the laws of thermodynamics being used to discount the possibility of black holes destroying "data" (even though Steven Hawking did the maths to suggest that it happened), or of time travel.

If evidence or research does not match the law, then why is the evidence discounted rather than the law demoted to theorem?
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  #1847  
Old 22.03.2019, 19:30
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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What's the difference between a scientific theory and a law? For example, why is the theory of general relativity a "theory", compared to the laws of thermodynamics, or Kepler's Law.

I understand that scientific laws are supposed to be confirmed using empirical observation. Yet the process does not seem consistent.

For example, Kepler's Law talks about objects in space having a fixed orbit. Yet for example we have "supermoons" on earth, whereby sometimes the moon's orbit brings it closer to the earth - suggesting that it doesn't have a fixed orbit. In which case, why is it still Kepler's Law rather than Kepler's Theorem?

Or, the existence of the laws of thermodynamics being used to discount the possibility of black holes destroying "data" (even though Steven Hawking did the maths to suggest that it happened), or of time travel.

If evidence or research does not match the law, then why is the evidence discounted rather than the law demoted to theorem?
In scientific parlance the word theorem does not mean what you think it does as in common English usage, same with "law"!

Laws are descriptions of something that is happening like "the ball is rolling down the hill" and a theorem is an attempt to try to explain why the ball s rolling!
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  #1848  
Old 22.03.2019, 19:46
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Re: Ask a Scientist

A "Law of nature" is (for most scientists) first of all some equation which has been confirmed experimentally, and never been disproved experimentlly (i.e. observed not to be the case), and for the more rigorous, that some other law would be contradicted were the first not the case.

The 2nd Law of thermodynamics (The net energy of a closed system is constant) is that physics experiment where you roll balls in a "U" shaped track and observe that they reach the same height on the other side of the "U" (only that the rolling losses slowly result in the ball ending up motionless at the lowest point of the "U" , or a pendulum is the other typical experiment. In both these experiment the potential energy at the top of the swing equals the kinetic energy at the lowest point while the system is still active.

A Theory, otoh has been postulated, either mathematically (gravitational waves), or by some form or rational explanation (Evolution), but not yet (or not conclusively) confirmed by experiment or observation. Gravitational waves were postulated long before the one was recently observed.
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  #1849  
Old 31.03.2019, 13:49
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Re: Ask a Scientist

With the F1 well and truly underway: what's the deal with matt colours? You'd think matt texture would create more drag, slow down the car. Anyone got a thought on this?
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  #1850  
Old 31.03.2019, 14:00
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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With the F1 well and truly underway: what's the deal with matt colours? You'd think matt texture would create more drag, slow down the car. Anyone got a thought on this?
Weight savings: https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/14...lp-save-weight

Deepwater ships hulls are painted with a slightly pebbled surface - this helps to reduce drag by forming a very thin layer of turbulence. Same thing with golf balls: http://www.sfi.ie/research-news/news...ek-golf-balls/

But the surface variations in the F1 paint would be so negligible that it really wouldn't make a measurable difference. But saving weight, even only a few hundred grams, will make a difference on an F1 car.
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  #1851  
Old 31.03.2019, 14:21
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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What's the difference between a scientific theory and a law? For example, why is the theory of general relativity a "theory", compared to the laws of thermodynamics, or Kepler's Law.
I'd say that a 'theory' is a general framework for making predictions, while a 'law' is a specific rule, typically part of such a theory. Newton's laws are part of the theory of classical mechanics, the four laws of thermodynamics could be said to parts of a general theory of thermodynamics, (itself derivable from the theory of statistical mechanics), etc.

And since we seem to be touching on the topics of proof and reality, there is a lovely aphorism "All models are wrong but some are useful." Utility, as measured by predictive power, is all scientists can ever hope for. Newtons laws are amazingly accurate within the range of sizes that we encounter in our daily lives, but they require adjustment to handle anything sufficiently larger, faster or smaller than human-scale objects. So even these 'fundamental' laws mere approximations - as far as we know, reality itself is always more complex, and often beautifully so.
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  #1852  
Old 31.03.2019, 14:56
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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I'd say that a 'theory' is a general framework for making predictions, while a 'law' is a specific rule, typically part of such a theory.
Wrong.

A law is a theory that has been proven, no more, no less.

Tom
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  #1853  
Old 31.03.2019, 17:04
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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A law is a theory that has been proven, no more, no less.
There are science teachers who disagree.
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  #1854  
Old 31.03.2019, 17:47
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Wrong.

A law is a theory that has been proven, no more, no less.

Tom
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Albert Einstein Quotes. No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.
Theories cannot be proven, a basic principle in science is that any theory can be disproved if new facts or evidence are presented.

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  #1855  
Old 31.03.2019, 17:49
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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There are science teachers who disagree.
<<When newspapers make statements like, "most scientists agree that human activity is the culprit behind global warming," it's easy to imagine that scientists hold an annual caucus and vote for their favorite hypotheses. >>
LOL. Would anybody actually think that is how it works/what is meant by "most scientists agree" ?

How ever, sorry for diversion. I know you linked this for point 1 on the linked page.
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  #1856  
Old 31.03.2019, 18:41
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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How ever, sorry for diversion. I know you linked this for point 1 on the linked page.
No apology required, we are, after all, in an Off-Topic section.

Actually, I cannot help but think that some of those page's arguments were phrased with young earth creationists and similar in mind.

Personally, my preferred line of reasoning to that point is that a theory/hypothesis/whatever must make testable predictions in order to participate in the arena we call Science. Then if those testable predictions turn out to be accurate, it becomes an accepted theory/law/whatever. There is a lot of stuff claiming to be science without making testable predictions, or even working meaningfully towards that possibility.

Of course, the idea that tests are required for acceptance is itself a bit of an approximation. The theory of luminiferous aether was more or less generally accepted, but then the first meaningful test of it came out utterly negative. Potentially similarly, it is hard, as far as I know, to point to a testable prediction of either super-symmetry theory or string theory. So the claim later on that page there is no politics involved in acceptance seems specious to me.

But it is still very accurate to say that scientists look for tests of theories, new or established, and accept the need to adapt when those tests fail.
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  #1857  
Old 31.03.2019, 18:49
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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No apology required, we are, after all, in an Off-Topic section.

Actually, I cannot help but think that some of those page's arguments were phrased with young earth creationists and similar in mind.

Personally, my preferred line of reasoning to that point is that a theory/hypothesis/whatever must make testable predictions in order to participate in the arena we call Science. Then if those testable predictions turn out to be accurate, it becomes an accepted theory/law/whatever. There is a lot of stuff claiming to be science without making testable predictions, or even working meaningfully towards that possibility.

Of course, the idea that tests are required for acceptance is itself a bit of an approximation. The theory of luminiferous aether was more or less generally accepted, but then the first meaningful test of it came out utterly negative. Potentially similarly, it is hard, as far as I know, to point to a testable prediction of either super-symmetry theory or string theory. So the claim later on that page there is no politics involved in acceptance seems specious to me.

But it is still very accurate to say that scientists look for tests of theories, new or established, and accept the need to adapt when those tests fail.
"it becomes an accepted theory/law", accepted; good word, wish I had thought to use it!
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  #1858  
Old 31.03.2019, 19:29
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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"it becomes an accepted theory/law", accepted; good word, wish I had thought to use it!
And I highly appreciated when they started using "by the current state of scientific knowledge" when telling us their absolute truths.
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  #1859  
Old 17.05.2019, 14:16
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Do fish fart?
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  #1860  
Old 17.05.2019, 15:20
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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In scientific parlance the word theorem does not mean what you think it does as in common English usage, same with "law"!

Laws are descriptions of something that is happening like "the ball is rolling down the hill" and a theorem is an attempt to try to explain why the ball s rolling!

A theorem and a theory are not the same thing.
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